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122          MY    COUNTRY    AND    MY    PEOPLE

Nun's Worldly Desires," which is a favourite topic and has
many versions. It is taken from a popular Chinese drama,
The White Fur-Coat^ and in Chinese is incidentally first-class
poetry, in the form of the young nun's soliloquy.

A young nun am I, sixteen years of age;
My head is shaven in my young maidenhood.

For my father, he loves the Buddhist sutras,
And my mother, she loves the Buddhist priests.

Morning and night, morning and night,
I burn incense and I pray. For I
Was born a sickly child, full of ills.
So they decided to send me here
Into this monastery.

Amitabha!  Amitabha!

Unceasingly I pray.

Oh, tired am I of the humming of the drums and the

tinkling of the bells;
Tired am I of the droning of the prayers and the crooning

of the priors;

The chatter and the clatter of unintelligible charms,
The clamour and the clangour of interminable chants,
The mumbling and the murmuring of monotonous psalms,
Panjnaparamita, Mayura-sutra,
SaddharamapundarikaŚ

Oh, how I hate them all!

While I say mitabha,

I sigh for my beau.
While I chant saparah,

My heart cries, "Ohl"
While I sing tarata,

My heart palpitates so!

Ah, let me take a little stroll,
Let me take a little stroll.